Games are a lot more fun when Chelsea strikers manage to score goals, aren't they? Manchester United came out of the gate pressing like their United careers depended on it (and for many of them, it probably did), while Chelsea looked content to weather the initial storm before taking control of the game.
Things started looking rosy when a Samuel Eto'o cutback left Phil Jones on his backside, before the striker's effort was deflected into the back of the net. Things looked even better on the stroke of halftime, when Eto'o latched onto a Gray Cahill cross to double the Chelsea lead.
The second half got underway with no Chelsea changes, and Samuel Eto'o quickly completed his hat trick after smashing home an excellent David De Gea save. Mourinho waited about 20 minutes before bring on the prolific John Obi Mikel, looking to close up shop on last season's champions.
Chelsea-killer Javier Hernandez managed to get one back with just over ten minutes to play, but it was too little too late for United. Chelsea are now on 49 points for the season, keeping pace with both Arsenal and Manchester City this weekend. Here are a few thoughts after the win:
- It's fitting that on a day that Bill Belichick will be coaching with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Jose Mourinho appears to have been taking a page out of his injury report flubbery handbook. So much for Branislav Ivanovic being out with injury.
- The short corner routine attempted by Manchester United in the first few minutes of the game might have been the most poorly conceived routine I've ever seen. Moving the ball a foot to be immediately kicked by the corner taker will result in an offside flag nearly every time, and even working on that in training is laughable. Well done David Moyes.
- David Luiz in the midfield scares the living poop out of me. His aggressiveness just seems to be a red card waiting to happen when given room to build up a full head of steam, and I'd probably refrain from starting him in that sort of role whenever possible.
- Games are a lot more fun when an early lead isn't sure to be erased at the most inconvenient possible time.
- I love when pundits gush about a team looking fantastic for the opening minutes of the game, largely due to pressing at a completely unsustainable level. Did anybody honestly believe that this United side was physically capable of sustaining that sort of workrate for 90 minutes, or that they wouldn't show signs of fatigue that Chelsea would eventually exploit?
- Welcome back Nemanja Matic. You've been missed.
- With the win, Jose Mourinho has now won 66.67% of his games since returning to Chelsea. That's better than his first go-around with the club, and matches Avram Grant's 66.67% for the best mark of any Chelsea manager whose tenure lasted 25 games or more.
- Hazard: I will not leave Chelsea of my own accord
- Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta latest Chelsea players to raise awareness for various Right to Play initiatives
- Jose Mourinho discusses player development at Chelsea when asked about Adnan Januzaj
- A Kevin de Bruyne tribute
- Romelu Lukaku tempts fate, starts a crisis of possibly Samsonesque proportions